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The Pythian Oracles (Slashing Conspiracy)

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  • The Pythian Oracles (Slashing Conspiracy)

    Seers of the Serpent



    credit to Reaper Verse for the art

    [An open Eye inside an Oroboros, with another, smaller Ororboros inside it around the pupil]

    What would you do for a better future?

    After, everyone knows that this world is not perfect- good people suffer, while bad people thrive. Laws judge without compassion, and the highest forget about the lowest. Some claim that this world is planned by some higher power- but God is distant, and there are no prophets ton carry His words. All of this is just the beginning- this is the World of Darkness, after all. There are monsters in the shadows: vampires drink the blood of the innocents, spirits play with the bodies of men as puppets, witches desecrate all which is holy in their search after power. This is truly not a paradise.

    But what if it could be?

    What if there was a possibility to create a better future? A future without monsters in the dark, a future were all can live with peace? A world which may not be perfect, but would still be the best possible, were all care about each other and have the freedom to achieve their destiny and fulfill their potential? What if you could know what you need to do in order to make that future true? Would you do it? Could you do it? Would you pay the price and take the sins upon yourself in order to make this world into a better place? And finally, if you decide you could be up to the mission- could you live the rest of your life, knowing you could make a change, yet gave up simply because you weren't strong enough, so now when your daughter is found murdered and the killer is released, when your best friend dies in a car accident, when you are chased down in a dark night by something which shouldn't be exist- it's all your fault?

    Don't do it. Don't give up the opportunity.

    Join the Oracles.

    Past

    Many people know about Delphi and its legendary Oracle. Even today, people remember it was a great place in the ancient times, where kings and generals came in order to search after an advice every time they wanted to know which path they should take and they could decide by themselves. Those who knows a bit more about classical mythology and history know that Delphi was a sacred place, and that the Oracle Pythia (the name given to any priestess which served in that role) spoke weird prophesies which were interpreted by the other priests in the temple. They also know that it was a place in which Apollo, the god of Prophesy, was worshiped for slaying the great serpent Python and taking his sacred temple and oracle for himself. Finally, they also know that the Oracle's faith eventually fell as Christianity rose, and that eventually the site was abandoned both by believers and priests.

    Yet, not all of this is true. Some are simply mistakes made by researchers which were done out of pure innocence and the difficulty at the attempt to uncover the truth of before two thousands years ago. Others are intentional cover ups, made by the cult of Delphi in order to fool their believers and hide their true nature. And among all of their secrets, there was one secret which they hid ferociously, willing to both kill and die to protect it.

    Python is alive.

    While they still believed in the story about the battle between Apollo and Python, they told it a bit differently. Python was still been slain by the sun god, but as a snake cheating death was part of its nature. It let its slayer to bury its bones in its sacred soil and claimed the powers of Delphi and the Oracle as its own- not knowing that all of this time the Serpent was watching, waiting patiently. During that time, it poisonous blood bled into Gaia, its mother, giving the gift of prophesy to Apollo's highest priestess while driving her mind crazy. That was the true source for the Oracle's powers, However, eventually the Serpent had enough of playing dead and decided to take back the gifts he granted. He moved his great body and shook his bones, creating a great earthquake which released his venom from the ground, and those making Pythia into a powerless fool. Without the sacred venom, the priesthood has lost its powers.

    While the Oracle and her faithful have tried to cling to the site of Delphi for many years even after being abandoned by their uncaring god, eventually, as Christianity grew in power, they had to leave. They hopped to find a new patron or another source of power for the gifts of prophesy, roaming from one place to another. The cult was small during those times, and many of them has lost hope in reclaiming their lost glory. They were a dying breed, they claimed, and without the help of the Serpent they were truly powerless.

    All has changed when one night, while they sat before a campfire and looked upon the starry skies, the current Pythia rose on her feet and screamed. While the rest were terrified (for they were an easy prey for the barbarians and robbers without weapon or shield) , Pythia didn't noticed- she was raving, just like in the times the poisoned blood of Python has effected her mind. While it was hard to follow her ecstatic talk (which was harder to understand more than before), eventually the followers managed to interpreted the prophesy- the Vision they decided to follow from now on:

    "Low has the Temple Fallen,
    Yet Low is where it should Stay;
    For Serpents lie bellow Mother
    Far from the one who Slay,
    Hope is still in the Box,
    Free it from the Depths of Despair!
    For the God is False, True is the Serpent,
    His Gifts are his to Spare!
    A Bright Future is Before of you,
    If Following the Vision you Dare,
    One is the Vision, Many are the Seers,
    Gather the Venom to Prosper"


    After that, Pythia fell to the ground, exhausted from the powerful vision she has seen- and once she awaken she told her followers about the bright future she has seen- a world without needless pain and sorrow. A world in which all know what they should do and why. A world which may not be perfect, but is the best it could be. She told them that she wished them to help her achieve that dream world, that paradise, although she must tell them a terrible truth: everything they believed in was a lie. They may gain their powers from a being which they name as Python, but that being is not what they thought it was- it is not a snake which was slain by Apollo, but something more ancient, a thing which doesn't belong to their world view of gods and titans, and that if they wish to follow her, they should know what the truth was.

    Some of her priests has left after that, not willing to listen to what they named as "mad heresy" while claiming that the Oracle has either made that up in order to hold some semblance of power among her followers or that she has finally lost her mind to the Serpent's venom. The others, however, decided to support the Oracle- either out of faith or because they couldn't see any other future for them. Together, they followed her and her Vision through Europe, gathering the "Venom of the Serpent". At first, they thought it meant to find other places like Delphi which still contain the blood of Python- but they were mistaken. After all, the Gifts are Python's to spare, and his venom has already spread through the all world in his sleep bellow earth. They didn't search for the poison, but after those who were poisoned- they searched after other "Oracles"

    Present

    As the Oracles has started to gather and taking shape, they understood few things about the world they lived in- that religion, any religion, is false. It is something which binds one into a certain form of thought, giving them false morals to follow and limiting one's potential. Because of the different faiths and religions, the different seers and prophets worked against each other instead of working together, while all of them has shared the same Vision. They also discovered that they were not the only movement in the world who worked to gather all of the Oracles together, for the same prophesy was heard through the all world by many other seers- from the Norse Volva, through the Celtic Vates and up to the Indian Rishi. The only reason Pytha was considered as the leader and the group was named after the pythanic myth was because that was the way the Vision showed them they should do.

    Once enough seers, prophets and other fortune tellers has gathered together in the same place, the group was able to move to the so called "second phase"- they all set together and conducted a great ritual, one which connected the minds of them all in order to see clearly into the Vision and find out more about the nature of the elusive Serpent, knowing once and for all if they should follow the Vision or abandon it forever- that is, if they would discover that the Vision was false and that it planned to harm the world instead of helping it. Of course, doing so was dangerous, for channeling so much of Python's venom could destroy both the mind and the body of the oracle, but it was something they had to do.

    They were right to be afraid. Out of the dozens of prophets they gathered, more than half of them have died through the ceremony. 75% of the survivors have lost their minds, the sight of so many possible futures was too much for them. Among the survivors, the one to retain most of her personality and sanity was Pytha, who sang joyfully as she was surrounded by the bodies of the dead:

    "Great is the Serpent, and Great are His Gifts,
    For Truth He spoke, and the Vision is Real!
    Don't mourn the Dead, for their Destiny they Fulfilled!
    And we have gained the Vision which us would lead!
    No Night is Eternal, Follow the Whispers to Greatness!
    But the Whispers of the dark should forever be silenced"


    The Great Ritual has given two things to the group- first, through the Vision, Pytha has learned how to shared the Gifts of the Serpent. It was a complicated ceremony which was based around purification of the body and soul through the use of snake venom and nerium. Sure, not all people would have survived the poisons, but through the use of the Vision the Oracles could find the ones who had the best chances to overcome it and gain the Gifts of the Serpent. The second thing was a purpose- to find those who are not a part of the Vision and get rid of them, may them be monsters or humans. Thankfully, mostly it looked like their targets were by themselves bad people- murderers, corrupted leaders, abusive parents. Few, however, are innocent- that is, for now. In the future, they would become monsters, or perhaps they would create some kind of dangerous weapon, or even they would simply be in the wrong place in the wrong time, but whatever is the reason- they should die if the Vision is meant to come true. It's for the best.

    Slowly and surely, the Seers of the Serpent has survived until the modern days. They still work in the shadows, manipulating history in small ways, knowing that each advice they give, each death they prevent, each monster they kill and each murder they commit is all part of a greater plan. Sure, the world is not perfect, but it is the best there is, and the Oracles believe that it is all thanks to them. Sure, they have no proof, but trying to explain the Vision to someone who have never seen it is like explaining the blue skies to a blind person. Following the Delphic Tradition, their leader is still always a woman and is always named as Pythia, leaving her former name and life behind when she take the mantle of leadership upon herself. She sits in modern Delphi, and is able to direct the all conspiracy by herself, seeing into the future and sending directions to the different members just at time- although in order to do so, she needs seven Oracles who sacrifice their life and mind to her, so she could use them as some sort of super computer to support her mind as they lie in endless sleep. The other members of the conspiracy, however, are free to live their life. Some use their talents for personal gain, working as fortune tellers or advisers. Others prefer to live their life as regularly as possible, hiding any sign for their powers. However, all of them listen to the will of Pytha and the Vision- and when it calls, they would answer.

    Future

    So- what is the Vision? What is that possible future that makes the Oracles willing to kill and die for?

    Simply? It's the best thing you could ever imagine.

    It is a world in which there are no accidents, no mistakes. It is a world in which good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. It is a world where you could go at night as peace and enjoy the stars, without any fear that someone would rob, rape and kill you just because. It is a world where there are no mad gods and faiths which bind people into false morals, and that there is nothing to stop one from fulfilling his true destiny. It is not to say that one doesn't have a free will- but simply that one could be sure that his fate would come true, as long as he doesn't turn against it (in which case, he would be removed from the Vision).

    It is a world without monsters in the dark- both human and other. All bloodsuckers has either been submitted or been burned in the sun. The wild werewolves and spirits has been tamed in order to support the Vision, while the witches either work for the benefit of all humanity or are enslaved. It is a world in which serial killers don't exist, for the only murders are done in the name of the Vision. In that world, there are no ghosts, for no souls clings to its former life and is happy to move on to a better existence, and as such there are no ghostwalkers who seek after a second chance. In that world, either the supernatural follows the Vision, or that it is eaten by the Serpent.

    It is a world without laws. There is no need for things like a president, king or any other ruler in the same way there is no need for a religion. There are no different countries, for there is no need to such diversity. Everyone are working together in order to create a better world, one in which all are equal and there are no outcasts. A world in which people won't betray each other, where you can trust anyone, knowing that your destiny will be fulfilled. It is a world without fear or despair, a world without the endless suffering of Elpis- for you know what should- will!- happen. It may not be a perfect world, but it is the best one humanity could make.

    Sounds good, right?

    So stop hesitating and shoot already!
    Last edited by LostLight; 10-03-2017, 02:17 PM.


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    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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  • #2
    The Enemy

    The Seers don't fight for the present- they fight for the future. As such, they don't focus their efforts on a specific group or type of supernatural or natural threat. Instead, they work almost randomly, moving from one target to the other according to the messages of Pythia and their own visions of the future. That reason is why it is so hard to catch the involvement of the Oracles in the acts- there is no pattern which could be understood or followed in order to stop the next murder. Such patterns could be found only in retrospective.

    As a rule, the Seers don't have any strong hate or love toward a specific type of monster. Actually, the most renowned among them are almost completely emotionless, killing only when Pythia or the Vision tells them to do- after all, all life are precocious- yes, even the monsters- and no one could know how the lose of one life could effect the others. Still, the Oracles are human, and there are things in the dark which are, without doubt, not supposed to live in their Vision.

    Vampires are such example. They are parasitic, inhuman monsters which drink the blood of the living. Yet, when you look at the Vision, there are still vampires in there, so they must have a purpose. Plus, vampires have influence upon many big corporations and their like, so the death of one could have some unwanted consequences. Still, when an Oracle finds such creature draining the life from someone in a dark alley, she should need a lot of self control to not drive a stake through the bloodsucker's heart.

    Witches are another problem. Their ability to influence fate is much greater than almost any other being, and as such they are dealt carefully. No one knows what a witch could do, and while some Seers think it is better to eliminate such chaotic factors in the system, the wiser among the Oracles know that as the abilities of a witch could be used for evil, they could also be used for good- they only need some.. guidance. As such, it happens that an Oracle would offer her skills as a fortune teller and an adviser to a willworker, hopping to use them to make their Vision true. Not all take the offer, of course, which could lead the Seer into doing some.. other actions in order to make sure the witch follows their will.

    Changelings and the Fae are a problem of their own- for where the witches are wild cards in the scheme of Fate, the Fair Folk manipulate Fate directly, bending it to their own needs. That ability both scares and facinate the Oracles, for it may ruin their efforts for a better future, or guarantee it by binding their desired Vision.There are even rumors that Pythia herself makes deals with the Others in order to make sure the Vision would be fulfilled, yet everyone knows that the Fairies gives nothing for free. Some whisper that Pythia has even given some members of the Conspiracy to the Gentry in exchange for their help as pets and toys, and Pythia has never denied it. After all, if it is true, it is simply another sin among many she has committed for the greater good.

    Spirits, ghosts, angels, demons and other beings which are "not of this world" scare the Oracles. Those things are not human, and most have never been. While ghosts are treated as an illness which will be cured when the world will be fixed, the others are simply out of the sight of the Vision. Plus, the Oracles lack almost any mean with dealing with immaterial beings no more than any other mortal, which makes dealing with those beings a lot harder. While spirits may be tolerated as long as they don't possess the flesh of the living (after all, their influence from the Shadow is necessary for the world- it just needs to be directed), angels work according to their own, weird agenda in an attempt to make their own "Vision"- and usually, those two Visions don't go hand with hand. The best tactic dealing with them is simply finding the cultists who would summon an angel and kill them before that.

    If angels scare the Oracles, demons terrifies them. Lesser demons could hide in the flesh of a man and slowly corrupt him, destroying his fate and role in the grand Vision. Greater demons are even worse. With their ability to buy pieces of other people lives- up to buying the person himself- they mess the Vision a lot more than any other monster. After all, the very fact of a single individual turning into a number of different fates could ruin even the best calculations made by the Vision, and their ability to lie perfectly works even on the greatest prophecies. Because of the perfect way a demon could hide his identity, one could at best notice a Demon's stolen destiny only as a murky corner in a Vision, but even that could be noticed only be the greatest among Seers.

    Finally, the most common target for the Oracles is, unfortunately, other humans. They don't enjoy the killing (in fact, those who enjoy it too much are usually captured and being sent to Pythia to use as "extra processor"), but they do it. They usually hunt "bad people"- serial killers, drug dealers, corrupted politicians. Anyone who isn't part of their Vision. Yet, not all of those they need to kill are already bad people. You see that person? In five years, he'll take a knife and stab his wife 30 times before slitting his own throat. That woman? she would drowned her children in a tub because her husband would leave her and she won't be able to live alone. That little boy? he is going to to create a new, non conventional weapon which would kill millions. That baby? she'll give birth to the worst person of all times. You know. You've seen it- over, and over, and over again. It is for the greater good. The only thing you could do is to end it quickly.
    Last edited by LostLight; 06-14-2014, 05:03 AM.


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    • #3
      The Hunter

      You were always an idealist. You believed that the world is broken simply because people aren't willing to do things in order to make it better. Politics, bureaucracy, society itself- all of those are simply ways an individual stop himself from doing the right thing and changing the world into a better place. You even opened a blog, in which you you expressed your opinions and called for a change- yet it seemed like no one listen. Except of one. She always commented on what you said and agreed with your opinions. One day, she offered for you two to meet, for she believed she could see a great potential in you. You agreed. When you met, she told you she was a part of a group dedicated to the same goal as you, and that she offered you to join. While it sounded suspicious, you agreed- for it looked like she had a great insight and wisdom. Today, you understand that while her insight was true, her wisdom.. not so much.

      You were a detective, researching a weird line of killings. Most of those looked random and most other people mocked you for trying to connect them all together- but you knew better. You noticed that while the killings weren't connected to each other at present, if you waited for enough time you could see how the death of a CEO from one side and a waitress from the other stopped the rise of some monopoly, or how important was that someone was planning to send that hooker in order to tempt some politician into cheating on his wife. While the thought that someone planned all of those killing as terrified you, it also drawn you. After all, how could someone have such a great insight and understanding of the future? One day, you finally understood who was the next target of the killer, and you ran as soon as you could in order to stop it from happening- for it was you partner who was targeted. When you came to his house, you didn't found your friend- but someone else, the killer. He told you he was expecting you, and that he could see a great future waiting for you. You asked him to explain himself, and he told you he would- but there was something you needed to take care of first, and handed you a big, sharp knife. Exactly than, you could hear the door opens and your friend coming in, and you knew what you had to do.

      Your life were supposed to be perfect- you found the best woman ever lived, and you were going to marry her. You were the happiest person upon the face of earth when she agreed to marry you, and your happiness was doubled when you discovered she was pregnant. However, few days later you were fired from your job. A week after that, you house burned down, with you and your fiancee barely escaping the inferno. A month afterward, your mother has started to suffer from Alzheimer. Yet, you managed to keep going, believing that there must be a better future waiting for both you and you family. That is, until your wife miscarried your stillborn sun and died because of some complications. Angry and grief, you couldn't even cry during the funeral in which you lost every hope for a better future- as you noticed that there was someone you never knew in the funeral. She told you how sorry she was for your lose, and that things like that should have never happen. While you didn't knew her, you could feel her grief was true. Than, she asked you what would you do in order to stop things like that from happening again. You said everything. Today, that's exactly what you are doing. Sure, it may not bring back your wife, but that's not your goal- for all you wish is to create a brighter future.

      You were never like everyone else. Sure, once you thought you were, but as you grew up you understood you were different in many ways. For example, you understood that not everyone were so obsessed about how things should be lined up- you just could look at things if they weren't in a certain order. It made your parents to send you for "special programs" which gave you enough medicines to blind an horse, yet it didn't stopped things from bothering you. It has just made you silent enough so your parents won't hear you complain. Another thing that made you different was the fact that sometimes, you could know what would happen in a few moments in the future- and no matter how many drugs they have given you, they couldn't shut you up about that. Eventually, they sent you to a specialist therapist who had some "experiences" with "children of your kind". However, when you two were alone, he didn't gave you any of the regular medicines. Instead, he asked you about the different things you have seen, and even helped you to see things even more clearly with his own medicines- which were tasted kinda bitter, but thety truly made you feel better. Finally, when you grew up, he told you that what you were seeing was real, and that you truly are special- but not in the way that your parents thought you were. He asked you to join him to somewhere were your talents would be appreciated. You asked about your parents, and he told you it was "already taken care off". Today, you know what he meant when he said that. And while for now you both work together, one day you would make him to pay for his sins. You know it. After all, you've seen it

      You can't remember the first time you killed. You also don't remember why. You think it was around the age of 12, when someone really bothered you and so you decided to get rid of him. You still don't know how you knew how to hide the evident and blame your parents for the murder- just an hunch, an instinct. You really enjoyed those killings, for in a way, it freed some dark place in your heart and made you feel peaceful. You really enjoyed tormenting your prey, hunting him slowly while letting him know you were coming for them and that they could do nothing to stop you. The most terrifying day of your life was when you woke up and discovered that someone was hunting you in exactly the same way you hunted your victims. You tried to shake him off, but whoever he was, he knew what he was doing. It has all ended as one day, just when you entered you home, someone hit you on your head and you blacked out. When you woke up, you were in some underground cavern, with burning candles everywhere and the statue of a big, golden serpent in front of you. Than, someone came- a woman- and she told you that while she usually kill scums like you, she decided of a better punishment for all of your sins. You laughed- after all, you didn't believed in all of the bullshit about sins and punishment. Than, she forced you to drink that bitter liquid that has almost killed you. When you think about that today, with that damn "Vision" which shows up every time you close your eyes, you wish it would have.
      Last edited by LostLight; 05-24-2014, 04:58 AM.


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      • #4
        Stereotypes

        The Hunt Club- "Don't dare to compare me to those guys. Sure, both of us do the worst sin man could do- but we have an higher cause while they don't. We are the Walrus, while they are the Carpenter- although, I must admit that the oysters don't really care who eats them"

        Loyalists of Thule- "Repaying for their sins? So immature. They should understand the truth- that in order to make the world into a better place, one must sin. We wear our sins with pride- even if it is a sin by itself"

        Cainte Heresy- "I can agree with them. They understand the truth- that for the greater cause, one must make the necessary sacrifices. Still, sometimes one of them crosses the line too much, or harms a vampire which shouldn't be killed- and so, we hunt them"

        VASCU- "Can't you see it?! It was for the greater good! How can you see so much more than the most, yet be so blind?"

        "If you could see what I have seen, you would have taken your own life right after you'll ask for forgiveness for ever being born"

        Sidebar- Slashing the Slasher

        The Oracles are murderers. Some of them are even true Slashers, which kill with no remorse. Yet, one of their prime targets are other slashers. While they claim that it is because they don't "fit the Vision", there is actually other, much more simple reason for that: it is to eliminate competition.

        The Seers truly believe that life are sacred, yet sometimes people must die in order to make a better tomorrow. Slashers, and any other killer actually, works against that. In a way, the Oracles seek after a monopoly over killings, and anyone who works outside of their organization interferes with that plan. Yet, there are two ways to achieve monopoly- by either crushing the opponents, or by absorbing them. Are the Oracles too noble to avoid the second option?

        No. They don't.

        Actually, there are times when the Oracles try to recruit Slashers, especially those which are still young and could still be nurtured. That means that some of the members of the Oracles have the dread Undertakings, either by evolving them through their service in the Conspiracy or by simply having them, before being recruited. However, the Oracles still have their limits, and they won't recruit Scourges of any kind- they are too chaotic to be controlled.

        But what about those who become Scourges while in the Conspiracy?

        That depends. As long as the slasher serve the Vision, he can kill freely. Yet, those who try to work against the Vision are hunted down and killed as rouge elements. Fortunately, the Oracles have a way to make sure that their members would kill only in the service of the Vision- every time an hunter tries to kill a mortal (and only a mortal, which is anyone who isn't a part of a major template), he must roll Willpower- with the number of his Willpower dots reduced by the number of dots in their Vision Endowment. Those who fail the roll can not commit the act. Thankfully, it doesn't usually work the other way around- and the Oracles aren't forced to kill those which are meant to die by their Vision. Sins must be taken by a free will, after all..

        Usually

        Sidebar: The Oracle, the Serpent and the Vision

        Pythia- the great Oracle, named after generations of Delphic prophets and seers.

        Python- the great snake which gives the gift of prophesy with His venom.

        The Vision- the possibility for a better future given as a blessing from Python to one the Pythias.

        That's not quite right.

        First, Python. Python is not a serpent. In fact, his not a living being at all. It is a force of nature, so powerful that it may be seen as a god, a titan or something even greater. It is the pinnacle of conscious, the point were all thoughts of all which ever lived since the beginning of history exist. Very few know about that mythical force, which is sometimes called as the "Omphalos"- especially witches with knowledge about the world of dreams. Becouse it contains all thoughts and all knowledge, that force also can calculate the future- or futures- and as such giving the gift of prophesy to those who draw directly from its power (which is not without side effects)

        In that case, why such an uncaring force made all of those efforts in order to make a better future to humanity?

        It didn't.

        The Vision was the creation of Pythia. She used her connection to the Omphalos in order to send a message to all the different seers and prophets, gathering them together in order to calculate for the best future humanity could achieve, Then, she used them and sacrificed their life, sanity or both in order to make the Vision permanent and finding a way to make the potion which would allow her to give others the ability to see the future. However, being man made doesn't mean that it is false, for the Vision is truly the best future humanity could make, and Pythia truly has the best intentions and truly hope to create a better world.

        Wait- has? Hope?

        That's the third lie.

        The reason that all of the Oracles since the beginning of Delphi were known as Pythia is not out of respect for the tradition- but simply because all of them were Pythia. The first Oracle of Delphi was a body thief- a person with the ability to possess the bodies of others. In order to preserve her role as the holy messenger of what she knew has "Python", she took the bodies of other young women and forced their souls to Lethe. Sure, it wasn't the nicest thing to do- but she always felt that one must do sins in order to achieve his goal. While that allowed her to direct the kings and queens which have sought after her help, being so close to the powers of the Omphalos damaged her mind, forcing her into a state of madness through most of her life.

        When Delphi fell, Pythia lost most of her connection to Python, which made her sane enough to make the plan in order to create the Vision. Yet, in order to maintain the Vision she had to lose her mind again, and she wasn't willing to do so. In order to do so, she used the opportunity to become one with the Serpent in order to gain a special ability- the power to possess a number of bodies in the same time, forcing them to suffer from the Venom of the Mind while she got an even more enhanced connection to Python while keeping her sanity. That actually makes Pythia into one of the more ancient beings in the world- and one of the most hated.

        Sidebar: Working at Different Tiers

        So- you think that a global group of slashers is too much for your chronicles, and believe that they work better as a compact? Very well. However, how could a group of people with powers which are clearly supernatural work as a compact?

        Simply- removing the supernatural abilities.

        As a compact, not all of the members of the group would be seers and prophets. Instead, the only seer is Pythia, which is also called as the Oracles. The members would call themselves as Servants of the Serpents instead of Seers, and instead of seeing the Vision by themselves, they would simply take orders from Pythia, which (with her prophetic abilities) would sent them directions and orders personally, planning them ahead. Also, the group would work much more closely, with Pythia herself deciding on the members of the different cells. In that case, instead of the Vision Endowment, members would get Allies for 2 dots.
        Last edited by LostLight; 05-25-2014, 01:07 PM.


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        • #5
          Perspectives:

          Among the Oracles, the Vision is one and absolute. All follow the same path toward the better future, and all work together for the common goal, just like bees of a single hive. Yet, there are many ways to look on the same thing, and the way one look on something has a great effect upon what he see- and for the Vision, seeing is everything. And so, while Pythia forbidden any kind of true, political division inside the conspiracy out of fear it would harm the Vision, there are different ways to interpreted the wills of the Oracle and the Serpent- yet all work to achieve a single goal.

          Those who follow the Zeal are those who see the Vision as absolute. For them, there is no other choice but following the Vision, else the whole world is doomed to failure. They never quiver when they have to kill someone, be him a man or a monster, and they would happily give away their own life in order to achieve the cause. Usually, they are called for the most difficult assignments, when one must do something truly horrifying- like killing a baby which was just born or slaughtering a whole lineage. That also makes them the most mentally unstable among the Seers, to the point that in the end, most of them are hunted down by the fellow zealots when they go out of control. (Free Specialty: Larceny, Hiding Evident)

          On the other side are those who see thing through Mercy. While they also try to fulfill the Vision, they don't think that killing people automatically is the best solution. Everyone have a place in the Vision, they claim, they only need to be educated. They only kill someone when they have lost any hope in changing his ways, and some even than choose the least painful ways to do so. Still, being merciful doesn't mean that they are nice- for while they try to make others change their ways, it doesn't mean they'll simply "talk with them". They usually brainwash and torment people until they break their soul and force them to follow their will- and they are not above forcing people into the conspiracy by using the potion- a thing which they keep as a "special punishment". (Free Specialty, Persuasion, Brainwashing)

          Finally, there are those who believe that instead of focusing on things from day to day scale, one should try to see the the "bigger picture". They name themselves after the Vision itself, believing that their goal must not be tainted by human emotions. Unlike the other Perspectives, they don't just follow what the Vision says when it does, but try to look the furthest they can and plan years head. They don't target single people, but whole organizations and armies, directing the other members like chess pieces on the board in order to fight their great war. While investing so much time and energy in seeing the future makes them to the best Seers in the organization, it also makes them into the most mad. (Free Specialty, Warfare, terrorism)*

          * see Requiem for Rome

          Sidebar: Heretics and Other Seers

          While the each Perspective work differently, they all are just different ways to look on the same Vision. That does not mean, however, that there are no other "Visions" out there- after all, the future is made out of endless different possibilities, and the Oracles all simply follow a single one. In that case, what stops an Oracle from seeing into a different future?

          Nothing- except of a death penalty.

          Since the beginning, Pythia understood that while she could allow others to see the future, once she gave that gift she can't take it back. That means that, potentially, one could create his own Vision for the future and being the world to ruin (after all, Pythia always work in order to make sure that the Vision is the best possible future- so any other must be worse). That was part of the reason why Pythia did all of the trouble of gathering all the seers she could find- so they'll either join her or die. Sure, creating a permanent Vision requires a lot of effort and may kill those who try to achieve that feat- yet it was done before. There is no reason why it won't be done again. Besides, one doesn't need to make a permanent Vision in order to endanger the conspiracy. One could just look from time to time, seeking after other possibilities.

          Once one is "tuned" into a different Vision, the limitation about killing other people also vanishes. Instead, it would be replaced on another weakness, which depends on the nature of the new "Vision"- perhaps one mus kill those who don't follow that Vision. Maybe one must drink wine of Thursdays. It doesn't really matter- it is just a compulsion made by the Vision to follow its ways. More dangerous are those who don't tune to a new future, and instead "lust look at it", seeing how things are meant to be and quickly return to their own Vision (details would be given at the Endowment section), and those keep their own compulsion.

          In order to protect the organization, Pythia forbade creating any kind of political groups inside the conspiracy- yet it isn't enough. Sometimes, when someone understand the true nature of the Vision, he goes underground and starts his own cult for the future. Worse there is no way to detect those who become heretic or spontaneously see a different Vision- instead, one must try to investigate the disturbance in the Vision and maybe even tune for the other Vision by himself, a thing which requires Pythia's personal permission and supervision.

          Finally, there is another for Pythia's obsession to forbid seeing any other future- that maybe, just maybe, she was wrong all along. Maybe her future is not the best one out there. Maybe a new future has risen, one which is better than hers and would make all of her efforts and all of her sins into meaningless. And so, that is the only thing the Oracle fears from- the only thing she can't see.
          Last edited by LostLight; 05-31-2014, 10:01 AM.


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          • #6
            Status:
            The Status in the Oracles is represented by their grim determination- what they are willing to give in order to create a better future? Their daily life? Their family and friends? Their very humanity? How much they sacrifice to the Vigil, just in order to fulfill their collective dream? While the Seers are not forced to to kill regular people in order to be a part of their organization, those who have never spilled "innocent blood" are usually looked down upon, for not willing to do the right thing for the greater good.
            (0)- You have either had the Gift of the Serpent since birth and recently joined your destined path, or have drank the bitter potion and survived the experience. In either way, you can now see the Vision, and can buy it with merit dots.
            (000)- Your time with the Organization has strengthen you mind and will, allowing you to withstand doing the most horrible sins man have ever known. Every time you roll Willpower or suffer from an Integrity Breaking Point, you gain +2 dices.
            (00000)- You have seen the Vision with all of its glory and killed many in the name of the future. Yet, the future has no place for degenerate people like you, and Pythia and the Inner Circle decide to give you the greatest gift of all- new life. You gain Alternative Identity for 3 dots, which may be changed to another if you get exposed and someone connects you to the murders you commit. Yet, you mus remember not to fail Pythia, else she would expose you and leave you to the dead.
            Last edited by LostLight; 06-14-2014, 04:55 AM.


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            • #7
              Endowment: Vision (1-5)

              Either thanks to an inborn gift or the elixir of the Oracles, the seers can see into the future. There are a number of uses to the Endowment. The first, and most conventional way, is to look into the future made by Pythia. By rolling [Wits + Vision], the character can see what needs to be done in order to fulfill that dream of a better future. A successes lets you know what is the next important thing needs to be done. Failure means you failed and lost a Willpower point. an Exceptional success means that not only you see the next mission, but also see the impact of that act- how many lives were saved thanks to you, or any other important detail the ST wishes to give you. A Dramatic Failure means you looked into the WRONG Vision, but you don't know it.

              Another use for the Endowment is to tune into a different Vision. In order to do so, roll [Vision + Composure] (for dealing with the Serpent's Venom). A success means that you managed to tune and act according to a different Vision, and can now freely look into it, but suffer from a negative Condition. An Exceptional Success means that you tuned while resisting totally to the Venom's effect, so no Condition for you!. A Failure means you take one level of Bashing Damage per die you rolled, plus a Condition. A Dramatic Failure means taking one level of Lethal Damage per die plus a Condition. See why so many have died while establishing the original one.

              While seeing into the future is the most common use of the Endowment, by rolling [Skill + Vision] the Oracle can get get a number of powers to help her during her Vigil, although she needs to use a Willpower point to activate them. An Exceptional Success means you get that WP back. Failure means that you just wasted WP. Dramatic Failure means that something has happened with your tuning to the Vision, and instead of activating the desired effect you look into a different, haunting future (take the Shaken Condition). Each of the effects lasts for 2 Hours per Vision dots, and twice as much for an Exceptional Success.

              List of effect:

              Academics- You gain Encyclopedic Knowledge
              Computer- you can mini-posses one person per Vision dot, making them suffer from your Conditions while gaining another Vision dot per such person (you use them as "living computers")
              Crafts- You can analyze how old is an object and where its weaknesses are, gaining a bonus equal to your Vision dots in order to destroy it.
              Investigation- You gain the effect of the Psychometry Merit for 3.
              Medicine- by expanding a WP point, you can analyze the type of injury/sickness/poisoning/ etc and know what is needed to heal it.
              Occult- You gain the benefit of an Unseen Sense for your choosing.
              Politics- You can see the "Divine Right of Kings" burning above the ones in control. allowing you to discover who really is running the show.
              Science- You gain the Scientist's Sense merit.
              Religion- you can add you dots in Vision when Summoning, Binding, Abjuring or Exorcising and Ephemeral Creature
              Warfare- you become one with your unite, granting anyone under your command a number of dice equal to your Vision dots to any roll involving your battle plans.
              Study- you gain the Eidetic Memory merit
              Enigmas- you gain the Dowsing merit

              Athletics- You add your Vision dots to Defense.
              Brawl- You add your Vision dots for Strength rolls by recognizing how to use your physical might the best way possible
              Drive- You can add you Vision dots to driving any vehicle (including ships, planes and even spacecrafts!)
              Firearms- you gain Fast Reflexes for 3 dots.
              Larceny- You can steal someone's memories by touching him and using a WP point. You must make a new roll every time you do such an act to see which memory you stole (ExcSec- two memories of your choosing, Sec- one memory, Fail- no memory, DramFail- memory you didn't wanted)
              Stealth- You use your Vision dots as a supernatural Resistance trait against supernatural attempts to scry after you
              Survival- You can sense the nearest source of fresh food or water in a radius of 10*Vision meters. Plus, it alarms you if you are about to consume a poisoned/ bad food or drink.
              Weaponry- You add your Vision dots when attacking.
              Archery- You can mark a target, giving anyone who attacks it a bonus modifier equal to your Vision dots.
              Ride- You get the Animal Possession merit.

              Animal Ken- You get the Animal Rapport Merit for 3
              Empathy- You get Aura Reading for 5 dots
              Expression- You can add your Vision dots to any roll involving Manipulation
              Intimidation- You can see a person's greatest fear by expanding a WP point.
              Persuasion- You get Psychic Empathy for 4 dots.
              Socialize- you gain the Mind Reading merit for 3 dots
              Streetwise- you get Fence for 3 dots
              Subterfuge- you gain Mind Breaker merit.

              Also, there is a downside for the Endowment- for every dots in Vision, choose a single negative Condition. That Condition is permanent, and represent the influence of the Venom upon the mind. Once could use the Computer Vision in order to transfer those Conditions temporary to other people.
              Last edited by LostLight; 03-05-2015, 06:49 AM.


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              • #8
                updated "The Enemy"


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                • #9
                  updated "the Hunter"


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                  • #10
                    updates Stereotypes and Sidebars


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                    • #11
                      added "Perspectives"


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                      • #12
                        Hmm, nice.

                        I would really include Changelings among the ones the oracles are concerned about. They can have prophetic dreams, turn life into a story, make a deal with death to come back to life, and all their powers work by manipulating fate. They should concern the oracles more than the witches, since after all not all witches mess with fate.

                        Compacts and conspiracies gives out minor endowments for compacts, instead of just giving allies to the compact version you might want to add a more impresssive ability. Like maybe they're really good at calculating odds to their favor, or their faith sees them through like the long night.

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                        • #13
                          It´s depressing how in the WoD humans who get a few bits of power can be as bad as the supernatural monsters who predates them.

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                          • #14
                            StSword- yeah, I should add Changelings. I'll do it later. About the compact version- for now, I'm working on the conspiracy, so it simply a sidebar. After I'll finish, maybe I'll give it a bit more thought about giving them their own "compact endowment"

                            Raistlin- well, it is less about getting a "few bits of power" and more about what do you do with that power. After all, all conspiracies have some weird tricks and magics, and they don't necessary become slashers. The Oracles kill people because they truly, undoubtedly, believe it is for the best- and worse, apparently they are right. After all, the Vision is real, even if manufactured, for it is the best possible future Pythia could find, and while Pythia is many things, she isn't a lair. After all, she could promise them an heaven upon earth and even create a false Vision to fulfill her needs- but she doesn't. It is more about desperate people who are willing to do anything- anything- in order to make the world into a better place. They are not nice, but they are needed- at least, that is how they see it. Their sacrifices are made out of free will, else they won't be any different from the regular monsters and slashers. This is why their Vision doesn't force them to kill others- and actually, stops them from doing so.

                            In short, they may be monsters- but it is for an higher goal. Deciding if the goal justify the means is the question this conspiracy is meant to make you ask.


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                            • #15
                              Well, I wouldn't say it's about power, it's about faith, and the road to hell.

                              And really, while that is the focus of the conspiracy, that doesn't really set them apart from the other hunters. Unlike the slayers in buffy the vampire slayer, the hunter book specifically says that a lot of hunters don't turn a blind eye to human monsters.

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